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Jones, Abner (28 April 1772–29 May 1841), evangelist, founder and leader of the Christian Connection, was born on a farm in Royalston, Massachusetts, the son of Deacon Asa Jones and Dorcas Wade, both devout Separate Calvinist Baptists. In 1780 the family was among the first to inhabit the vicinity of Bridgewater, Vermont, a virtual wilderness in the upper Connecticut valley. Abner’s religious upbringing, the influence of itinerating Baptist revivalists, and the harsh, uncertain conditions of the frontier occasioned periodic bouts of gloom and spiritual torment. In his ...